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I've run a few very basic preliminary calculations to try to see just how massive the Dreadnought-class battleship U.S.S. Vengeance from "Star Trek: Into Darkness" is going to be. And if we take the official length of the new Enterprise as a whopping 700+ meters, this vessel is indeed going to be a giant monster.

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John Harrison explicitly says that she's twice the size of Enterprise, and I confirmed that by doing a comparison measurement of the two CGI models. So using that and other official numbers as a basis and using very rough visual estimates to get some ballpark numbers, here is what I get for the Dreadnought Class if we take the Enterprise's length at 760 meters or 2,500 feet the length given in the "Experience the Enterprise" promotional feature from the 2009 film's advertising campaign. I am also using a deck chart I found for the new Enterprise (at her enormous "official" length) online that gives her 39 decks and an average height of 4.1 meters per deck.

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This ship is so big that her SAUCER alone is the length of the entire Enterprise, which as a Heavy Cruiser, counts as a medium sized ship. All numbers are rounded and heavily approximated and can change if we get official numbers released after the movie (which isn't likely given how sloppy the ST:09 designers are compared to the guys who worked on the previous productions).

*Name: USS (United Space Ship) Vengeance

*Launch Date: A.D. 2259 (Alternate Reality)

*Fate: Destroyed (damaged beyond repair by internal detonation of 72 Photon Torpedoes and crash-landed in San Francisco Bay)

*Class: Dreadnought

*Hull Type: Warship

*Registry: N/A (Unmarked/Officially Nonexistent)

*Affiliation: United Federation of Planets

*Operator: Federation Starfleet (Section 31)

*Top Speed: presumably Warp Factor 12 (pre-TNG warp scale)

*Special Characteristics: Unspecified "Mark IV" Capabilities including, but possibly not limited to, advanced warp technology, next-generation sensor technology including "multi-dimensional RADAR" and "space region observer" systems, upgraded (potentially M5-level) automation of all primary systems and anti-transwarp beaming countermeasures, hull armor including extending plates to cover the navigational deflector and a "sunken" main bridge configuration

*Cargo Capacity: At least seven storage hangars w/ airlock hatches

*Weapons: High-yield multi-emitter rapid-firing ball-turret Phaser banks, Swivel-mounted Photon Torpedo launchers, Torpedo drones (missile-like weapons that fire a cluster of micro-torpedoes before impacting the target & detonating)

*Defenses: Upgraded deflector shields, Heavily armored outer hull

*Designer: "Commander John Harrison" (a.k.a. Khan Noonien Singh)

*Commanding Officer: Admiral Alexander Marcus, Starfleet Commander-in-Chief, Section 31 C/O (Unofficially)

*Construction Site: Classified Section 31 Spacedock orbiting Io (Coordinates 23.17.46.11)

*Crew Complement: Unknown (can be operated by one individual if necessary)

*Main Bridge: judebgallery.files.wordpress.c…

*Corridor: judebgallery.files.wordpress.c…

*Photon Torpedo Launcher: images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__c…

*NOTE: The Warp Factor scale is NOT linear.  Therefore, Warp 12 is actually three times as fast as Warp 8.  The existence of anti-transwarp beaming countermeasures on this ship has been personally confirmed by Roberto Orci.  It explains why John Harrison had to flee to Qo'nos instead of beaming right to Io to steal the Vengeance directly.

(USS Vengeance stats assuming a 760-meter-long Enterprise, as stated in "Experience the Enterprise" )
Length: 1,520 meters
Beam (Saucer Diameter): 760 meters
Overall Height: 285 meters
Draft (Height, Discounting Nacelles): 200 meters
Deck Count (if decks are 4.1 meters tall): 48 decks
Deck Count (if decks are 8.2 meters tall): 24 decks

(USS Vengeance stats assuming a 2,379.75-foot-long Enterprise, as stated in the "Starships" featurette from ST:09)
Length: 1,462.11 meters
Beam (Saucer Diameter): 731.06 meters
Overall Height: 274.14 meters
Draft (Height, Discounting Nacelles): 192.4 meters
Deck Count (if decks are 4.1 meters tall): 46 decks
Deck Count (if decks are 8.2 meters tall): 23 decks

(USS Vengeance stats assuming a 725.35-meter-long Enterprise, as stated in "Star Trek: The Art of the Film" )
Length: 1,450.7 meters
Beam (Saucer Diameter): 725.35 meters
Overall Height: 272 meters
Draft (Height, Discounting Nacelles): 190.9 meters
Deck Count (if decks are 4.1 meters tall): 46 decks
Deck Count (if decks are 8.2 meters tall): 23 decks

I should point out that the fan-made chart I used for the AR Enterprise gave the Abrams version of Kirk's ship a total of 39 decks at 4.1 meters per deck.  Of course, if the ship's decks are 8.2 meters tall, that would mean that the average deck on board the Vengeance would be 27 feet high.  4.1 meter decks are already 13.5 feet tall.  Given that I'm a pretty average 25-year-old human male and I'm 5.67 feet tall (5'8"), if the Vengeance had 8.2 meter decks then the average level aboard ship would be four times my height.  

According to information I've read elsewhere, many high-rise buildings will have floors that range from about 8.5 feet tall to anywhere from 10 to 12 feet tall while decks on many cruise ships, which need more space for hardware, may have average floor-to-floor heights of about 10 feet to up to 16 feet tall for more "public areas" such as, perhaps, a grand atrium, so the 4.1 meter height is pretty believable.

I don't know if I will use the 4.1 or 8.2 meter average floor-to-floor deck height if/when I do my own take on the Dreadnought hull plan.  It is entirely possible that, as these futuristic warships need a lot of equipment hidden away beneath their floors and above their ceilings (otherwise it would not be possible to have those smooth corridors that are so typical of "Star Trek" - you never see those on a real-life Navy warship), that the floor-to-floor deck heights could indeed be, say, 8.2 meters, but that only 4 or 5 of those meters would actually be habitable, and this isn't even counting the more cavernous parts of the ship that would definitely need to be that large, like Main Engineering or the Shuttle Bay.

Now, all of this was horribly misconstrued because of the infamous "shuttle bay scene" from the 2009 film where the Enterprise is seen as holding anywhere from 16 to 20 or more military transport shuttlecraft in a giant hangar bay.  The ST:09 Enterprise was originally designed to match up with the Refit Enterprise from the 1979 Motion Picture.  Her saucer decks and the shape of her hull scaled appropriately and most of the extra length (the Enterprise Refit measured around 300-302 meters or so while this ship was 366 meters) came from her much longer warp nacelles.  But the shuttle scene posed a giant problem that wouldn't go away.  Matt Jefferies' original designs for the Enterprise's shape did not give the ship's aft the capacity to hold anywhere near that many small craft.  She could maybe fit 4 shuttles on the floor and have 2 or 3 more below decks in disassembled condition, and those shuttles were barely large enough to fit seven people, making them about the size of a minivan or a Chevy Astro if you want to be generous about it.

But the new ST:09 "military bus" shuttles are much, much bigger, easily capable of fitting up to 40 passengers plus cargo and a flight crew or even containing an entire laboratory (Scotty's shuttle doubled as his lab).  I would guess these shuttles must be about the size of a Greyhound bus.  And there was no way that a 366 meter Enterprise could hold 16-20 of those things with room to spare.  Therefore, the awful and very arbitrary decision was made, in the interest of keeping the "drama" and "heroism" of the shuttle scene - overblown scaling and all - to simply blow up the size of the Enterprise to anywhere from 725.35 to even 760 meters instead of redoing the shuttle scene with fewer shuttles and explaining that the rest of the crew beamed aboard instead (which would have been perfectly acceptable).  We now have a 2258-era Constitution-Type Class I Heavy Cruiser as big as an Old Republic Acclamator Class Assault Transport and there's something very wrong with that, especially since the physical architecture of the CGI model still suggests a 302-366 meter ship with maybe 19-20 decks (if the decks are still 4.1 meters tall on average).  Engineer Berndt Schneider, a very respected Trekkie and webmaster of the "Ex Astris Scientia" site, therefore prefers to take the Enterprise at a much smaller scale of around 302 meters to match her up with the Enterprise Refit as it's a more realistic scale.

However, that's what the "Powers That Be" say, so the Enterprise became a giant vessel with a 1,100-man crew (the original TOS Enterprise went from a crew complement of 203 in "The Cage" to a little over 400 by TOS proper, so the new ship has nearly three times her crew complement) in the 2009 film.  Now, back to our discussion of starship scaling.  I did some (again, very rough) recalculations and if the Enterprise is taken to be 366 meters long as she was originally designed,  and therefore given a crew complement based on the original ship's, her basic stats would look like this:

U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701), Alternate Reality 2258
Overall Length: 366 meters
Beam (Saucer Width): 164 meters
Overall Height: 92 meters
Draft (Height w/o Nacelles): 77 meters
Average Deck Height: 4.1 meters
Deck Count: 20 decks
Crew Complement: ~430 officers & enlisted ratings

And if we keep the same scaling when recalculating the basic design specifications for the Dreadnought Class, she measures in at a size that, while still enormous for AR 2259, is much more "appropriate" for "Star Trek" because it's comparable to a Sovereign Class Explorer from PR 2371 (and, again, the Acclamator Class Assault Ship from "Star Wars" Episode II).  Of course, we don't know her intended crew complement at this time, only that she needs "much less" personnel to crew her than Enterprise did due to dramatically improved automation.  The U.S.S Vengeance herself from "Into Darkness" appears to be only manned by a skeleton crew at that, so I don't think we can take her as a typical example of a Dreadnought Class fully manned at maximum combat readiness.  So, if we assume a 366-meter Enterprise, here's what we get:

U.S.S. Vengeance (Unknown Registry), Alternate Reality 2259
Overall Length: 732 meters
Beam (Saucer Width): 366 meters
Overall Height: 138 meters
Draft (Height w/o Nacelles): 97 meters
Average Deck Height: 4.1 meters
Deck Count: 24 decks
Crew Complement: Unknown standard complement; the ship is capable of being run by a single operator.

Of course, this is all a wild ballpark guess based on known numbers from both ships, a presumptive fan-created deck chart for the Alternate Reality U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701) and my own eyeballing of the relative sizes between the two CGI models from what few screen shots we have of the two ships together, as well as the proportions of the U.S.S. Vengeance CGI model.  J.J. Abrams' staff have not been very good at calculating or releasing information about the sizes of their ships in the new "Trek" franchise and even when they do, they only give us a bare minimum of information, leaving us to calculate the rest ourselves.  (It took quite a while to finally get an official length for U.S.S. Kelvin (NCC-0514) at 452 meters, for example.)  But, until we *do* get official numbers, this is the best I can do and it's what I'll assume when I go to see the movie in mid-May 2013.

Signing off,
:icongalaxy1701d:
04/25/2013 (Updated 06/02/2013)

***

UPDATE (06/04/2013): Memory Alpha has noted that Quantum Mechanix was contracted to build a series of spacecraft and starship models to illustrate the "history of space flight."  These models can be seen briefly on the desk of CINCFLEET Admiral Alexander Marcus' little office during a meeting between Kirk, Spock and Marcus at Starfleet Headquarters following John Harrison's assault on the Daystrom Building.

The U.S.S. Vengeance appears as one of these models, but co-writer Roberto Orci has confirmed in correspondence that this ship shouldn't have been there because as an unmarked, unregistered, exclusively Section 31 design, the Vengeance - and any other Dreadnought-class starships that may have been built by S31 prior to Harrison's revolt - should not "officially" exist in Federation records and, therefore, no image of the ship should be found in such a public location (remember, Section 31 doesn't officially exist).  Orci has stated personally that had he been on set that day, the model of Vengeance would have been removed, but as a close-up shot of the model made it into the final film, it's canon and its existence cannot be retracted.

Orci decided to clear up the issue by stating that the while the finished Dreadnought-class design as seen with U.S.S. Vengeance was indeed a top-secret experimental prototype, it may not represent a design that was thought up by Khan Noonien Singh and S31's design boards entirely from scratch during the short 1-year gap between "Star Trek (AR 2258)" and "Star Trek: Into Darkness (AR 2259)."  Instead, it is more likely that an earlier, more primitive, unfinished version of the Dreadnought-class design had been partially developed and proposed during the quarter-century's worth of technological innovations and new ideas that led to the development of the AR Constitution-Type Class 1 Heavy Cruiser, but then shelved (for whatever reason) until after the destruction of Vulcan and the discovery of S.S. Botany Bay.

Then, after his awakening, Section 31 would have taken this existing (and, judging from the model, likely publicly known) design out of mothballs and had Khan Noonien Singh (under the cover identity of Commander John Harrison) work on the unnamed existing design, dramatically enlarging the ship to twice the length of the Constitution Type and adding an entire host of technological innovations developed using Khan's superior intelligence, from the "Mark IV" suite of advanced warp, computer, sensor and transporter capabilities to the improved multi-emitter Phaser turrets and swivel-mounted heavy torpedo launchers.

***

UPDATE (07/25/2013): Quantum Mechanix has revealed that it is going to make 2 different models of the U.S.S. Vengeance for sale.  With this announcement has come their estimates of the ship's size.  As QMX worked to produce the actual U.S.S. Vengeance model that was seen in Admiral Marcus' office, I can only presume that QMX's representatives had access to the ship's CGI model from Industrial Light & Magic and may have been told the vessel's actual size by the movie's CGI model makers.  Their sizes for the Dreadnought Class Warship are:

Length: 4800 feet (1,463.04 meters)
Width: 2400 feet (731.52 meters)
Height: 1133.33 feet (345.34 meters)

This seems to confirm that ILM, Bad Robot and Paramount are sticking with an estimated length for the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701) of the Alternate Reality at 2,379.75 feet (731.06 meters), as this size is just above the calculations I derived for a 731.06-meter Enterprise.  Although the Alternate Reality vessels have never been and will never be designed as intricately as the ships of the Prime Reality that we have come to know so well through long-running television series, the puzzle has finally been solved, long after the ship was first revealed - we now know how big the Vengeance is.
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ProjectWarSword Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've never found the new Enterprise's actual size thanks to the all these sources saying what size it actually is. And finding the actual size of both the Enterprise AND the Vengeance now only adds to the problem. It's bloody confusing..
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015
Yes, it really is.  I love the Alternate Reality, but this is one of the few true criticisms I have of it; the people running this segment of the franchise just didn't put as much effort into nailing down technical details, ensuring consistency and sponsoring the publication of things like the huge library of technical manuals that we had back in the '70s and '80s, especially during the Classic Movie Era.  

I love "Trek" for the technology and the military culture, rather than for the story - this is why I always say that I am a Treknologist, *NOT* a Trekkie - so that kind of sloppiness tends to grind my gears because it interferes with the believability of the fictional world.  If you have to blow up the Enterprise to the size of an Acclamator-class Republic troop transport from "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones," then it's your franchise and I can't stop you, but for goodness' sake, set the size in stone.

From the research I've done, the 725.35-meter size for the Enterprise seems to be what ILM is going with and therefore it's what I am taking to be her official size, but I wish they'd make some kind of announcement about it.  I suppose this is what my old Kendo Sensei meant when he pointed out that, as a Marine veteran as well as a sci-fi fan, he could tell that, when examining "Trek" as military sci-fi, the original "Star Trek" was created by people with military experience while the reboot wasn't.
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ProjectWarSword Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for letting me know and giving me a real idea of the size. I honestly didn't think you would respond to my comment. I love the ships in Trek. I want to make my own type in the Alternate Reality one day because the one thing the reboot did do is create an opportunity to make new story line and possible an all new series could emerge. But I'm still not sure as of yet. But thanks for telling me the best size.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015
It's no problem.  Being a Treknologist, I'm the sort of fan that really wants to think of the "Star Trek" world and its military technology as something that could be real, and it's irritatingly difficult to do that when the official fiction isn't even self-consistent.  

The ST:09 ship's exterior had been carefully based on the Enterprise Refit from the 1979 Motion Picture, so she was *SUPPOSED* to be only 366 meters long (the Refit was 302 meters long and much of the extra length of the original JJ-Prise design came from her extra-long engines), but again, they arbitrarily blew up the size because of the "shuttle scene" from ST:09.  

It was a great scene and I know why they did it (it's based on the age-old dramatic naval movie scene where you approach the big ship in small boats - something everyone knows), but I have mixed feelings about it because I'm highly critical of changing the ship's size that much at that point in the timeline (2258).  Now the physical "landmarks" on the ship - visible deck lines, the size of the bridge viewport and docking ports, etc. - just don't match up.

That's why I wouldn't have done it that way if I'd made the movie (I'd have kept the 366 meter size with a small shuttlebay, and added one or two throwaway lines about how they were using both shuttles and transporters because there were too many new crewmembers for the transporters to handle alone on such short notice).
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:iconprojectwarsword:
ProjectWarSword Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know how you feel. A 366 meter size sounds the best size(and from the original movies) the only size. Not ever great starship has to be massive. Some of the best starships in cinema, like the Millennium Falcon, are small, but beautiful and awesome. To supervise the Falcon wouldn't make any sense. Especially for a smugger who'll want to stay low and fast on their feet when they have to run. A super sized ship would make them still out like a sore thumb. They made the Enterprise big in the reboots to give it, what's the word? MORE into it for dramatic design and stuff. The engine room, for me, looked more like a factory than an actual warp core. Sorry, but for a beautiful starship like the Enterprise(suppose to be the most advance in the fleet) shouldn't they at less made it a bit more, well, compact? Something that would make it feel like an actual engine thing than just pipes and boilers? Some big machine thing that said "warp core" on it from just looking at it?
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Edited Feb 12, 2015
They basically fixed that in ST:ID by giving us an actual Warp Core/Reaction Control Chamber.  They went to the National Ignition Facility to film those scenes and that's where we got that gigantic dome-like reaction control housing (the interior of the core, with that huge and very elegant matter/antimatter injection system that Kirk is shown sacrificing his life to repair in ST:ID, was an original design that was filmed using a practical set with CGI extensions).  The "Brewery" in ST:ID was shown to be part of the plumbing, plasma transfer conduits, and all of the other "guts" of the ship that you never see in TOS partly because 1.) Jefferies assumed those things would all be hidden behind bulkheads, 2.) they didn't have the money to show the "guts" of the ship in that kind of detail, and 3.) the stories were written so that you didn't have to see those sections.

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The fact that you keep talking about "beauty" essentially tells me that you have never served in the military, don't know what you're talking about, and are only thinking about this as a work of fiction because in the modern age, beauty is often of very little concern to military shipwrights and equipment designers.  Remember, this is supposed to be a realistic portrayal of the military of the future.  Starfleet is ultimately the Federation Navy or Coast Guard, and it was always envisioned this way.  In the end, military designs are fundamentally driven by practicality and economy - getting the shape that makes the best possible combination of functionality and safety in the most cost-effective package while also taking into account any possible need for symbolism if the ship is meant to be a "public face."  Form follows function - if the end result looks beautiful, great, but what's important is that it works, it's easy to train people to use, and it can be mass produced as cheaply as possible.  Yes, the battlecruisers HMS Repulse and HMS Hood may have been considered among the most "beautiful" ships of the Royal Navy because of their long, sleek, clean lines, but that was a welcome afterthought - the ships were not designed from the ground up to be pretty, they were designed to be cost-efficient and to fulfill some job requirements.  The final package just *happened* to look pretty, too.  Or, for example, many people think the IJN Yamato, with her extremely long, curved, bow that swept up to a tapered point, wasn't just the biggest battleship in the world but also one of the most beautiful - she was certainly the symbol of Japan on the waves and was always meant to be - but she didn't get that shape because it was "pretty."  She got that "pretty" shape because that shape made her more hydrodynamic and better at doing her job.

I actually always had a fundamental problem with the fact that we never really saw the "guts" of Federation ships before they introduced the "brewery" for the Enterprise and the old power plant for the Kelvin in ST:09.  I spent a lot of time around Coast Guard, Navy, Army, USAF and Marine Corps veterans and study military history and warship designs for fun (this is why I understand how the way "Star Trek" classifies ships is rooted in navies of WW1 and WW2, which is the period that TOS' creators would have known best - hence why the Enterprise is described as a Heavy Cruiser or F-CA; that's WW2 terminology), so I understand that all those "guts" - the pipes, boilers, air conditioning, waste treatment, all that stuff - has to go *somewhere* and with a ship that big and that complicated there is just no way you can miniaturize it all to the point where you can hide everything behind a bulkhead - if we are supposed to believe that's what they're doing and that this is why we have never seen the "guts" of Prime Reality Federation starships, then the only logical conclusion is that much of the internal space of those ships isn't really "habitable" - there must be vast quantities of space between any two walls or between the floor of one deck and the ceiling of the deck below if you're jamming that mass of pipes in there, and if you do, those areas must be ridiculously difficult to get to.  

If your ship is going to channel fluids of any sort - liquids or gases - for any reason, you're going to have pipes and storage tanks.  Think of what it takes for the crew just to enjoy fresh running water in all the various sections of the ship that need it.  Consider the radioactive fluid waste and other wastes - even biological waste from the restrooms - that activities on the ship are going to generate on a massive scale.  When you've got all that stuff going on 24/7 with a crew of over 1,000 (the 725.35-meter Enterprise is said to have an 1,100-man crew), you're going to have a ton of big pipes, tanks and conduits and that's what the brewery set suggests.  It's not pretty, but it's realistic from an engineering standpoint.  Those things have got to be there, and they have to be put somewhere in that damn hull, or the ship cannot believably be built.  It just isn't believable or practical and that's why I'm fine with them keeping the brewery in ST:ID, since they also gave us a much better Warp Core that actually looks like a reactor (the warp core is a Matter/Antimatter Fusion Reactor - a power source - *NOT* an engine.  It does not propel the ship or generate propulsive force of any kind.) - and the NIF really does look like a reactor, because guess what?  It *is* one.  

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NIF reacts atoms and subatomic particles at high speed to study what happens as a result of those collisions and what new subatomic particles may be created as a result.

This is what I mean about being a *TREKNOLOGIST*, not a *TREKKIE*.  I've spent enough time studying the real-life militaries of the world and having discussions with real-life military veterans that I have a pretty good understanding of what things were done and why throughout the centuries from the way sailing warships were designed in Horatio Nelson's Royal Navy to the Great Dreadnought Arms Race that caused two World Wars, and I judge "Star Trek" by the same standards because I desperately want to envision Starfleet as being something that could be real.  Whenever I run into something that just doesn't look realistic to me - like designing a military vessel - even one that isn't a warship - for looks alone, or the aforementioned issue with never seeing the "guts" of a Federation ship (and henceforth wondering where they all are and whether the Powers That Be were trying to blow it all off by claiming said "guts" were miniaturized or all neatly tucked away behind the wall), it drives me bats*** crazy, forcing me to go back to my books and try to find at least some way of rationally explaining away what doesn't make sense, or just conceding defeat and admitting that such things wouldn't ever work in real life.

It needs to be *real* - not "pretty," - REAL.  Or else I can't believe in it and the entire illusion of that grand vision of the future is shattered because I can't argue that it could be done.  Generally, "Star Trek" has a much better track record for being "real" than any of the other major multi-million dollar sci-fi franchises (just look at all the real-life technology "Trek" influenced or correctly predicted, even the real-life Alcubierre Metric, the real theory behind how a Warp Drive could work, which works almost exactly like the "Star Trek" version - or how we've actually made antimatter, we've got touchscreens and automatic doors all over the place, Bluetooth Commbadges actually exist, and the Navy just brought laser weapons like those from "The Cage (TOS)" out of the prototype phase and into active deployment).  So when the Powers That Be make a mistake and I see something that I can't pass off as being "real," it grinds my gears.  

Needless to say, I'm something of a "rebel" Trekkie.  I don't think like the rest of the fanbase, and they can take it or leave it. =P
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:icongraysteel:
graysteel Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2015
nicely said
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:iconprojectwarsword:
ProjectWarSword Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ohh.. Now it all makes sense now. The pipes, the core. When you put it in the technical side, it now makes a lot of sense. Sorry about that. Your talking to a guy who grew up in the TNG era. ^^' And I know I'm no military man whatsoever so I don't know all of the technical inners that goes into all that machinery. But now that you've given me an all new insight in this. Looking back at the reboots, the 'guts' on the Enterprise makes practical sense. Perhaps that's why the Enterprise is so damn bigger now, perhaps. But anyways, I'm an artist and not much of a technician or engineer in any regard. So I don't know much how big machines actually function. 
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Edited Feb 12, 2015
I'm actually a biologist and medical laboratory scientist by education, but I love reading about technology and military culture - the world of the military and how military operations are conducted.  I'm a hardcore military geek - the reason I like "Star Trek" more than any other sci-fi franchise is precisely because it feels more like a good old-fashioned Navy story than the other franchises do.  "Take away the high ideals, morality plays and futuristic technology and in the end, it's just a bunch of guys on a boat" - that's how I put it.  Since Gene was trying to do "Horatio Hornblower (i.e. Napoleonic British sailing navy of the early 19th century) in space," that's no surprise.  If I hadn't valued my free time so much, I'd have gone in; instead, I have utmost respect for those who do go in; they're better people than I for doing so.

I actually came within an inch of becoming a U.S. Coast Guard Officer Candidate instead of going to med school during a time when I was unsure about where my future was heading.  I had to study the U.S.C.G. during the O.C.S. application process and also had a lot of discussions with my 8th grade math teacher, who was a retired U.S.C.G. pilot with the rank of Captain.  This is why I like to say that if you really know the U.S. Coast Guard, you will see that military organizations do more than just fight wars (one of the reasons why people whining about portrayals of Starfleet being "too militaristic" make no sense) - and that Starfleet is really more like a gigantic Coast Guard (don't let the name fool you, the U.S.C.G. is oceangoing as well as coastal and operates worldwide) than a Navy.

I don't necessarily think that the "guts" of the ship mandate that the vessel is so much bigger now.  If you think realistically from a logical standpoint, *ANY* ship, even the smaller ships of the Prime Reality, would have those guts.  It's just that we have never seen them and we have always gotten wishy-washy answers about them any time somebody raised the question.  They're never brought up, and it almost seems like Paramount would want us to believe that they were either miniaturized to an unrealistic extent or all hidden behind bulkheads and you can't hide *that* amount of "guts" behind the walls and above the ceilings.  (Look at the Vengeance, for example.  Those shelves in the engineering section were all mainframe computers linked up to one another - that's how you get a near-100% automated starship in the time before the development of the M-5 Multitronic Computer - and it also explains why Daystrom ultimately came up with the M-5 in the Prime Reality to begin with.)

All starships have to have those guts or the design basically makes no sense *if* you really understand what it takes to design a ship - a self-contained city in space or on the sea.  And no self-respecting military would design anything just to look good - it leads to wasteful decision-making and unrealistic expectations.  That's why in real life, the military always gets the most advanced technology that can be made available (especially in wealthy first-world nations with many enemies, like America) - but it never looks very pretty.  It doesn't have to, it doesn't need to, and it would be a waste of resources trying to make it look pretty.  If it winds up being pretty, great - but it wasn't the intention.  Even the U.S. Coast Guard's ships, with their handsome red-blue racing stripe paint jobs and ivory-white hulls, didn't necessarily get those designs because they looked pretty.  They make it *VERY* clear who that ship belongs to, clearly separate the U.S.C.G. from the U.S. Navy and for criminals on the sea, those colors are an intimidating sight because they're like a police siren.

You don't have to have that kind of deep engineering or military knowledge in order to enjoy "Star Trek."  But because "Trek" was created by a lot of people who had served in the military, some of whom had actually seen wartime experience, and who knew how the WW2-era U.S. military actually worked - and because the technical stuff was perpetuated in that style (again, some aspects of the Expanded Universe, such as the Star Fleet Battles board games, use exact WW2 terminology all the way down to ship classes like DD/Destroyer, DE/Destroyer Escort, FF/Frigate, CV/Carrier, CL/Light Cruiser, CA/Heavy Cruiser or BB/Battleship) - you have a lot to gain if you do understand it - for example, the storyline of the Vengeance suddenly becomes a lot more acceptable than an old Trekkie might believe it to be, because knowing the history of the battleship causes you to realize that the rationale behind building the Vengeance is basically history repeating itself - the same mentality that Marcus had was what caused the Great Battleship Arms Race that helped launch two World Wars.  

Or - Marcus' scheme to use trickery and sacrifice one of his own ships to initiate a pre-emptive war in the name of "national security" was the same kind of tactic that the Americans deliberately used to initiate the Spanish-American War (no, the Spanish did not sink the U.S.S. Maine and even the U.S. Navy knew it) and invade Iraq after 9/11 (we never did find those "weapons of mass destruction," did we?) or that Otto von Bismarck used to cause the Franco-Prussian War in the later 19th century, giving the other then-independent German states an excuse to rally under Prussia (allowing Prussia to exert near-complete domination over the united Germany that eventually resulted, which was Bismarck's *real* goal all along).  

Many old Trekkies whine on and on about the plot of ST:ID, when ST:ID actually does - in a more subtle way - something TOS episodes are universally praised for doing: using sci-fi as a mask to expose issues with human society, either current, historical or both and presenting a message (in the case of ST:ID, it's the just-because-we-could-doesn't-mean-we-should message) about it.  But you won't get that unless you know your military history and as a result you get the moaning and groaning that broke out after ST:ID premiered, and which caused Trekkies to vote ST:ID the "worst "Trek" film" at one of their biggest conventions (for the record, the worst "Trek" film was the Motion Picture.  I can't watch it without falling asleep and I've tried three times - it's that boring).  It's for reasons like this (and the rampant elitism and trolling, among other things) that I "rebelled" and now want nothing to do with other Trekkies if I can avoid them.

Basically, you don't *have* to start studying military history, technology and naval engineering or to be what some of us call a "Treknologist" to enjoy "Star Trek," but it takes your understanding of that universe to a whole new level if you can.  

Again, that's why I often feel alienated from other Trekkies, because it takes a lot of time and dedicated interest (I spend a few of my evenings reading military-related books or watching documentaries about war, the military and military technology/engineering) to build up that kind of knowledge and not many people have that kind of interest.  For example, I watched "Battle:360" - a documentary series about the career of the most famous real-life U.S.S. Enterprise, the WW2-era Yorktown-class carrier designated CV-6 (she was our sixth carrier), and my feelings toward "Trek" have never been the same after that because I now think about the experiences of Starfleet officers in comparison with how the real-life sailors of CV-6 Enterprise felt when they took their ship through the Pacific War, and learning as much as I could about real-life battleships helped me explain the bizarre features of the U.S.S. Vengeance because I can see how they were designed to maximize combat efficiency as that ship was designed to be one thing, and one thing only: a super battleship.  The Vengeance is the Federation equivalent of the DKM Bismarck or the IJN Yamato, two of the biggest battleships in the world, all the way down to her design essentially being "illegal" or at least unauthorized (both the Bismarck and Yamato were designed and built in blatant violation of international law).

But yes, I would insist that you must learn to at think technically about things, at least in the back of your mind and that's why I wrote that journal entry back then (to rationalize the Vengeance's design and help explain why it actually makes more sense than the naysayers claim it does despite the size controversy - the only thing about the design that I didn't like, because it was a case of the Powers That Be discarding "realism" for "artistic license," a huge no-no in a franchise rooted in reality).  That's because you have chosen to be a fan of a science fiction franchise that *does* pay more attention to the technical side of things than any other major sci-fi franchise out there - because unlike "Star Wars," which can throw realism out the window because it never needed to be realistic, "Star Trek" is grounded in realism - it sells itself as a vision of what we, ourselves, can be in a few hundred years and therefore everything has to look futuristic, but attainable and everything has to be designed so that it makes some degree of sense.  In fact, a physicist at Columbia University once said that what struck him most about the Enterprise was precisely that: the ship *made sense* - the design works, there's nothing about it that would make him, as a professional scientist, raise his hand and say, "that would never work."   

And by the way, I grew up in the TNG era too.  I was born in 1987, when TNG started, but I was born in China, which has no "Star Trek" fandom (they don't even know what it is).  I moved to America in 1990, and TNG was the first TV show I ever watched seriously so I was a 4-year-old Trekkie (in fact, I didn't even know TOS existed until a few years later.  I saw William Shatner on "Rescue:911" before I ever learned who Captain Kirk was.)  I just now happen to prefer the TOS era, and the Classic Movie era in particular - the Golden Age of Starfleet, a time when officers were, as Janeway put it, "a little slower to quote the Prime Directive and a little quicker to pull their Phasers."  

(That, and the Monster Maroon uniforms have been a mad obsession of mine - I first saw them when I was 8 years old and although it ultimately took me 15 years to finally get one, I now own three, as well as all of the other uniforms - every single one - that a Captain of the 2290's could have used including the TWOK Field Jacket and the ST:V Commando Uniform, as well as all the Phasers and nearly all the Communicators that were also used during that period - again, because the Monster Maroon, of all the uniforms we've seen in "Trek" so far short of the new ST:ID Dress Uniforms (which look like a cross between TMP dress uniforms and WW1-era American and British dress uniforms), looks the most like real-world formal military uniforms.  The other Starfleet uniforms just weren't classy or "military" enough for my tastes.)

In other words: always remember this, even if you aren't much for technical stuff: Starfleet is a *MILITARY* organization.  It's a gigantic Coast Guard.  The military never does anything without practical reason and they certainly don't do things just for looks - especially since military people throughout history have tended to be conservative, practical and resistant to change - they cite the quote "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" more than anyone else in human society.  Therefore everything you see aboard a Starfleet ship from the technical layout of the ship to the design of the uniforms is functional first, "pretty" last - what you see is how it is because it was designed to do a job, to be cost-effective, and to facilitate mass production.

Keeping that in mind will help explain a lot of things.  
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(1 Reply)
:iconquintazon:
Quintazon Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
Everyone seems to miss the part where Kahnn jumps the gap between the bridge of the vengeance and the outer saucer section, Sulu states that he jumped 30 meters. that gap measures about 1:24th of the ships total length. Which would make the Vengeance about 720m give or take. But if the Vengeance was 1,463.52 meters what Sulu should have said is that he just jumped 61 meters or he just jumped 197 feet or he just jumped stories 20 storys but not 30 meters.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
Indeed.  What you're saying about Khan jumping 30 meters is definitely in-line with my suspicions about the Great Enterprise Size Controversy of 2009.  If Enterprise was indeed around 302 to 366 meters long, which is what she was always meant to be when Ryan Church designed her regardless of what those in charge of the franchise right now might be saying about her being 725.35 meters in length, then your estimate of the Vengeance would be pretty darn close to the ship's intended size - one set of calculations among the several I proposed in my journal entry does put up such a length for the Vengeance (700+ meters) assuming a 366 meter Enterprise.  I love the movies and I love the Vengeance, but I don't think the staff making the films have been doing a lot of checking for technical consistency...
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:iconquintazon:
Quintazon Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
I agree the movie and ship are awesome. However, technical consistency (warp speeds, and star dates aside) is one of things that made star trek great in the first place. If I where to venture a guess i would say the size of the ships and script was set at the lower values prior to set construction. Then somewhere along the lines they realized the oversized sets just would not fit in the ship they had so they bumped the sizes and missed the details. Most likely because scenes are rarely shot in chronological sequence. However, due to technical inconsistencies in later development, I fear there will never be an "official cannon" size for these two ships that can be taken with any seriousness. For instance the crash scene supports both larger and smaller Vengeance if you take into account that the section of water it crashed into between Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf is just short of 1,5km wide and the Vengeance appeared to be only a bit more than half that in length, possibly three quarter, the entire length which it should have fallen only 37m short of bridging the two land masses if that. However, it also appeared to be more than twice the width of Alcatraz Island only a moment before witch would make it more than 1km wide, (so an even larger ship). I would say variable scaling seems to be a plaguing issue with the staff. Not to mention that in order to have hit the building it hit at the angle it hit it the ship would have to have come in from the west headed almost directly east that little tower shown in front of the building is on the south east side of the island. Prior to the Alcatraz hit it was clearly shown coming in from the north passing over Angel Island going south toward Alcatraz with the golden gate visable off the right side (5km due west of Alcatraz), then suddenly in the Alcatraz hit the golden gate is behind the Vengeance and the ship is headed east, after the hit the ship appears to be flying south again if the ship is however still moving east then the expanse of water between Alcatraz and the shore becomes 10km making the ship easily more than 5km long. it would appear that once the Vengeance came on scene the entire film crew became so excited they could not even agree on which direction the ship was flying.

While I do appreciate bad robot and paramount's stance, given the conflicting data used in production, i would hardly consider it a definitive answer so much as popular propaganda. I would myself be more inclined to take Ryan Church's size to be the cannon size, any estimates outside of the ships designer, takes you out of Science Fiction which Star Trek has always been and starts you into Science Fantasy where explanations do not have to follow any form of logic or consistency.

All of that being said, I did enjoy reading your article, though I fear it is a question with too many answers, none of witch can withstand scrutiny, and yet none are entirely false. But I will keep an eye out for any new developments, Perhaps the next movie will see more attention to detail, and less attempt to overshadow an excellent story with carelessly overreaching effects and scaling issues.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Oh, absolutely.  I really do wish they paid more attention to this kind of thing, you know.  "Star Trek" is no stranger to scaling issues.  If you look through Berndt Schneider's excellent page, "Ex Astris Scientia," you'll see that other classes have had notorious scaling problems, too.  The Excelsior Class has been stated to be anything from 467 meters (the size used on the Playmates toy according to the box, and apparently the class' intended size) to 511 meters (the size given on the box of the Diamond Select/Art Asylum toy of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-B).  When the model was altered between ST:III and ST:VI, the bridge dome changed, but the new bridge dome suddenly suggested a totally different scale for the ship because the new bridge detail was smaller.  And then they were filming models next to other models (i.e. Excelsior and Galaxy) that weren't built to scale with each other, which meant that if you just take what you're meant to see on screen, the Excelsior or Oberth Classes suddenly become much bigger compared to the 641-meter Galaxy Class than what they were supposed to be.  

Inconsistency really sucks, doesn't it? =(
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:icons1cohen:
s1cohen Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
I'll definitely have to check out those comics. So, Robert April wanted war with Starfleet's enemies? Wow! That's so different from Diane Carey's characterizations of him in Final Frontier and Best Destiny, in which he was an idealist and his first officer, George Kirk, was more pragmatic (the best defense is a strong offense). They're not canon, but they're entertaining. Check them out if you haven't done so already. :)
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
I don't need to check them out.  I have the "Final Frontier" audiobook and I remember "Best Destiny" from a while ago.  I'm well aware of the original Robert April, the rosy-eyed idealist and "father of the Constitution Class."  And I also much prefer that April to the one from the Alternate Reality.

The AR folks are certainly treating the novels as "non-canon" (which they technically are) and picking and choosing elements from them as they please.  On the other hand, it could be argued that as it's known that the Federation/Klingon "cold war" went through some particularly tense periods prior to the 2250s even in the Prime Reality and this would have just been made worse by the paranoia sweeping through Starfleet after Nero's First Incursion of 2233, a lot of people could have been hardened far beyond what their attitudes were in the Prime Reality.  I don't know.  

George was killed in 2233 in the AR, but his personality is still generally portrayed as being relatively pragmatic so I'm sure he wouldn't have necessarily changed all that much.  People have definitely noted that the cover art of George Samuel Kirk, Sr. from some of the novels looks pretty similar to Chris Hemsworth's appearance as George, which was quite the welcome coincidence.

Truth be told, I never cared all that much about the characters.  I'm more interested in Federation technology and Starfleet military culture.  I'm technically a Treknologist, not a general-purpose Trekkie.
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:icons1cohen:
s1cohen Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
Well, I certainly enjoyed your article. You are thorough and your arguments are very convincing. :)
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
I'm a trained scientist with a master's in biology and will soon be a certified medical laboratory scientist.  Being thorough is to be expected from people like me. =)
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:icons1cohen:
s1cohen Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013
:)
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:icons1cohen:
s1cohen Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
I think this ship would cause a massive arms race in the Star Trek universe, or even worse, a catastrophic war. The Klingons and the Romulans would feel threatened and build their own enormous monstrosities.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
We'll have to see how they take it in the upcoming comics and movies, since the comics show where the Alternate Reality's canon is going.  The Klingons and Romulans are none too pleased with the Feddies, that's for sure, and the course of world history - especially between WW1 and WW2 with regard to the Dreadnought Arms Race - would tend to agree with you.  Of course, in real life the great powers eventually agreed to multinational arms limitation treaties that put cutoffs on shipbuilding.

The end of ST:ID certainly made it seem like Starfleet wanted to back off from Marcus' policies.  As the post-ST:ID comics pick up from the "one year later" epilogue, they don't mention the immediate fallout of the Vengeance crash but I would imagine that as nobody could deny the Vengeance's existence after Khan smashed it into San Francisco killing hundreds of thousands of Federation citizens, the rest of that year would have probably seen Starfleet Command and the Federation government marred by a political scandal - a "Vengeancegate."

Of course, the Vengeance herself was still dwarfed by what she was built to fight.  The Narada from ST:09 was a Romulan/Borg hybrid measuring 5 miles long, if I remember correctly.
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:iconthraxllisylia:
thraxllisylia Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
bloody interesting article!, well done. I'm happy enough with the 2009 blu ray stats of the Enterprise but I do admit that in terms of minute detailing the production of the new timeline is not so focussed. For what its worth, I always saw the Vengeance as a symbol of intent (i know its obvious) of Marcus/Section 31. which is an entirely separate direction to the original Starfleet ethos, I am comfortable with the title of the ship as it were, I see people blowing steam over the subject on FB. and I thought more inline with seeking retribution against the Klingons for making incursions into federation space. a hurt emotional base that needs revenge.

powerful ship and I loved its soundfield actually ;D.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013
I think you're exactly right.  There's a lot of what some people like to call "butt hurt" going around, and I've just been fed up with it.  I don't even allow anti-J.J. vitriol on my page(s).  Post it and you're getting banned.  Calm discussion and analysis is always fine, but I'm not tolerating any bullying.  There was a time back in 2006-2007 when "Enterprise" was canceled, the "Legacy" video game was seen as a failure, TOS Remastered didn't generate any buzz outside the hardcore "Trek" fandom and I was seeing a few magazine articles that dared to claim that "Trek is dead" and that we were suffering from "franchise fatigue," which I quietly considered insulting.  The last two films really did give us a popularity boost we genuinely needed.  And since they spun off their own canon and will never interact with the original again, I don't mind much of what has been done - after all, they could have done worse.  The "Battlestar Galactica" reimagination may have been a fairly good show, but it also took almost everything about the original and threw it in the trash.  J.J. hasn't done this.

If you really look at the Vengeance, you will realize that she isn't all *that* advanced.  There is nothing this ship does that isn't truly unconventional.  She's just blown up in size and designed completely for combat.  Even her avionics are not that powerful - remember, the M5 hasn't been developed yet.  I was wondering why the U.S.S. Vengeance's engineering section looked so cramped when Khan, Scotty and Kirk were navigating their way through it in the movie, and why it looked like there were rows upon rows of shelves with what looked like boxes wired in until one of my friends who is majoring in a computer field suggested that I look at my computer.  They are very likely tower cases.  The Vengeance likely has a whole lot of computers wired up down there in Engineering, all linked to each other and to the ship's original computer core(s) to form a network that would allow for the ship's near-total automation.  This is how you could sensibly explain how a ship built in 2259 (yes, some aspects of Starfleet technology are more advanced in the Alternate Reality, but not everything is more advanced and you don't need to be "more advanced" to "build bigger."  You could easily take more primitive technology and build bigger in order to compensate for its primitive nature) could have automation rivaling that of the U.S.S. Enterprise (Refit) as Scotty rigged her up in "The Search for Spock."

Her Phasers don't operate on any principle that differs from standard Phasers.  Her vaunted ability to "fire Phasers at Warp" has nothing to do with the nature of her weapons but comes from one of the only technologies she has that is truly different: she has highly modified Warp Drive technology and is capable of forcibly merging her Warp "bubble" or "tunnel" with that of another ship, causing both ships to exist in the same pocket of normal space-time and allowing Phasers to be fired (remember, Phaser beams are bolts of electromagnetic radiation and no electromagnetic radiation can travel faster than the speed of light; Photon Torpedoes get around this because they have miniature Warp Drives called Warp Sustainers built into their casings and the Warp scale was redrawn during TNG to make Warp 10 the maximum attainable speed by a traditional Warp Drive).  Even *this* is not truly "original."  It is likely inspired by the events of the ENT episode "Divergence" where Enterprise and Columbia merged their Warp bubbles in order to allow Trip Tucker to basically climb down a ladder from one ship to the other.

Vengeance *is* described as having "Mark IV" capabilities, but these correspond to the Enterprise (Refit) from PR 2271.  The Refit Enterprise was claimed to have an "advanced, 4th generation Warp Drive" that made her "three times faster" than the TOS Enterprise.  The TOS Enterprise had a top speed of Warp Factor 8, the same top speed the J.J. Abrams Enterprise is rated at.  Warp Factor 12 on the old chart is rated at 3 times faster than Warp Factor 8 (remember, the Warp scale is not linear), so this can be implied to be the Vengeance's top speed.  In the novelization of ST:ID it is said that the Vengeance was capable of temporarily exceeding all accepted Warp factors and catching up with a fleeing ship; to be more realistic about it, you must recall that Vengeance - at least, the Vengeance herself if not the original Dreadnought concept - is a top secret design that officially doesn't exist and that before Vengeance was designed by Khan, Enterprise with her Warp 8 top speed was likely considered the fastest ship in Starfleet as the Constitution Class Heavy Cruiser was Starfleet's most advanced vessel.  Perhaps even Vengeance can only maintain Warp 12 for short bursts and usually travels at slower speeds.  This certainly puts her on an even footing (propulsion-wise) with the Enterprise (Refit), meaning we've got an AR 2259 ship that can keep up with a PR 2271 ship, but that's something I find acceptable.

As for her gigantic size?  That was an inevitability since it's now clear that they are taking a size of about 731 meters for the AR Enterprise.  I have made my peace with this, and with the fact that all J.J. Abrams ships are now likely going to be enormous.  You're right (and I also noted this) that the ship designers and showrunners of the Alternate Reality are just never going to be as careful or consistent as Matt Jefferies and Doug Drexler have been when designing their ships, deciding on an exact fixed scale, mapping out every deck and aiming for maximum realism in order to keep things consistent.  I knew they were never going to be that careful the moment they started using location filming for the engineering sections of the Kelvin and Enterprise (I am generally vitriolically, almost vehemently *AGAINST* using location filming for Federation starship interiors simply because we know what the inside of a Federation starship needs to look like and because there are scaling issues involved.  They did things a little better with ST:ID by using an actual subatomic particle research facility to stand in for the Warp Core because that location makes more sense design-wise, allowing for the brewery to become plumbing, EPS junctions, and other "guts" of the ship that we always implied to be there on the other vessels but just never got to see).  And, of course, you've got that shuttle scene from ST:09 - a blatant analogue to the idea of going to a big sailing ship in small rowboats in the pirate movies that was likely deliberately conceived to wow the non-Trekkies with a sense of scale; there's no way around that, so I've just learned to accept the new sizes while keeping my comments that it doesn't make sense.

However, that being said, Vengeance's relative size compared to the Enterprise *does* make sense.  Most people will spout off that Enterprise is a Constitution Type Class 1 Heavy Cruiser without realizing what the Hell a "Heavy Cruiser" is.  The term "Heavy Cruiser" was developed around World War 1 to designate a ship class superseding the Armored and Protected Cruisers of the previous era.  Heavy Cruisers were *MEDIUM* sized vessels with high speed, long range, and fairly powerful weapons that were not intended to stand in with the main battle lines but featured just the right blend of size and capability to take on most missions a Navy would require that were too much for small ships like Corvettes, Frigates and Destroyers but for which a Battleship would be overkill (there really isn't much you can use a Battleship for other than destroying things en masse or threatening other nations by pointing guns at their cities).  Cruisers represented countries overseas in peacetime and conducted diplomatic missions.  They could occasionally be diverted for search-and-rescue or interdiction.  In wartime, they acted as long-range scouts for the Battleship fleets.  They could pursue crippled or wounded enemies.  Because they were fast enough to evade destruction by anything bigger and powerful enough to destroy anything that could outrun them, Cruisers were the perfect "commerce raiders."  Before the advent of the Submarine it was the Cruiser that was made to catch and kill enemy shipping and, indeed, the Germans and French purposely designed their Cruisers to do exactly this.  The Germans had a number of famous Cruisers in particular that were known for commerce raiding: the WW1 Light Cruiser S.M.S. Emden and the Deutschland-Class Panzerschiffen (pocket battleships) in WW2, the D.K.M. Deutschland/Lutzow, D.K.M. Admiral Scheer and D.K.M. Admiral Graf Spee.  Those last three were nicknamed "pocket battleships" because they were Cruisers with Battleship guns: their main batteries were six eleven-inch guns apiece.  This leads to a discussion of typical Cruiser weapons.  Cruisers could far outpace Destroyers, which were mainly armed with torpedo tubes and 5 inch guns.  Cruisers themselves were actually divided into "Light" or "Heavy" categories based on their *WEAPONS* not their *SIZE* - the typical Light Cruiser carred 6 inch guns as her main armament while Heavy Cruisers carried 8 inch guns.  (Compare that to the Panzerschiffen with their 11 inch guns and most battleships which had anywhere from 14 to 16 to 18.1 inch guns.)  The Japanese Heavy Cruisers of WW2, among the mightiest and fastest Cruisers ever built, carried up to ten 8 inch guns plus torpedo tubes and a scout/fighter plane.

Battleships, on the other hand, are *expected* to be far more massive than Cruisers and by World War 2, they were even beginning to be able to catch up with some Cruisers in top speed (WW2 was the advent of the "Fast Battleship" type) even though they would always maneuver more sluggishly simply due to their massive bulk.  The Vengeance is a battleship, plain and simple.  So I guess it makes sense that Marcus demanded Khan upscale the Dreadnought design to be twice the size of the "Heavy Cruiser"-designated U.S.S. Enterprise.  It would also make sense that the Dreadnought may have needed to be upscaled to fit the machinery needed to give Refit Era Warp capabilities all the way back in 2271, to jam in the Dreadnought's powerful weapon systems (massive turret-mounted Photon Torpedo launchers, 2 tubes firing "Torpedo Drones" capable of firing clusters of Photon Torpedoes before detonation and enormous ball-turret gatling Phaser emitters) and defenses (advanced shields, anti-Transwarp Beaming countermeasures) because one of the main things that can be understood is that oftentimes, advances in technology don't come in the form of brand new ways of doing things or completely new weapons.

Battleships were essentially using the same sort of primary weapons technology from the Armored Cruiser era (around the Spanish-American War of the late 19th century) through to the end of WW2.  The advancements were mostly internal, things you wouldn't notice at first glance: the replacement of coal-burning engines for the smaller, more efficient turbine design, better propellants for the weapons, advanced gunmaking technology allowing for bigger guns, the concept of a "completely uniform main battery" of all main guns being the same caliber (the Dreadnought design), the armored belt and underwater torpedo blister, the ability to carry a floatplane, RADAR targeting, that sort of thing.  It could be thought that much of the advancements between 2259 and 2271 even in the Prime Reality were based on miniaturization, ways to do existing things that required less space, less power, and with fewer crew.  Perhaps in the Prime Reality part of why they didn't try to shoot for these capabilities sooner was because, if they did, they would have to build every ship to be as big as the Vengeance and Starfleet just didn't believe it was economical to do so - better to develop miniaturization and automation technology with better computers and more advanced *internal* machinery to get the same capabilities in a smaller package a few decades later.

Vengeance's design makes sense if you think of it from an almost completely defensive viewpoint and realize that besides having a look that was clearly inspired by her villainous nature and the appearance of the USAF Lockheed Martin F-117A Nighthawk stealth night bomber, she was an attempt to take the standard look of the Federation starship (a look that many critics of "Star Trek" and non-Trekkies will bemoan as being very difficult to defend) and make it more sensible for a warship that is focused on only 2 things: attack and defense.  The Vengeance is the Anti-Narada.  Or, an attempt to make an Anti-Narada; Starfleet didn't understand just how powerful that part-Borg, part-Romulan monster really was.

1. Like a WW2 battleship, her hull is covered in a "sheath" of armor plate.  

2. The armor plates were a result of the fact that Narada's torpedoes easily penetrated shields.

3. The Deflector could be protected by armored plates when not at Warp.

4. Even the Warp Nacelles are encased in an armored "sheath" and few parts are exposed.

5. She has almost no windows and those she has are in the inner face of the saucer "cutout"

6. Her "neck" is heavily reinforced and integrated into the hull design to be more damage-resistant

7. Her weapons are put in a protected location and surrounded by armor plates

8. The secrecy surrounding her construction mirrors that of the great Axis WW2 battleships.

The Bismarck and Tirpitz were built in semi-secrecy.  People knew they were being built, but the Nazis lied about their true displacement of nearly 50,000 tons.  The Yamato and Musashi were built in 100% total secrecy.  Even though they were named for the man who became the very ideal of an honorable warrior and for the most ancient and sacred name of the Japanese nation, even though they were intended to be symbols of an empire and an entire people, the very people the ships were meant to represent never knew about them.  They did not have official launches.  They were designed and built piecemeal; no designer was ever allowed to see the entire completed design of Yamato or Musashi and worked on their little chunk of the design under heavy guard.  Why all this secrecy?  Because these ships were *ILLEGAL* and their builders damn well knew it.  Germany and Japan had been limited by treaty bans after WW1 on how much they could build and how big they could build.  Even after the two Axis nations decided to no longer respect the terms of the treaties regarding how big they could build their warships, there was still the problem that Britain, France and America could always win a war with sheer numbers of ships.  The Germans and Japanese could see that this was going to be a battle of quality vs. quantity and in order to ensure that they would have the edge on "quality," they had to make sure nobody knew just how big, how powerful, and more importantly, how *illegal* their ships were truly going to be until it was too late.  These illegal WW2 Axis monster battleships are just like the illegal nature of the U.S.S. Vengeance, though the Vengeance's shady designer certain ups the ante in her case.

9. Her bridge is "sunken" deeper into the plane of the hull & protected by a raised "fairing"

This explains why we have the "Star Trek Online"-style doughnut saucer.  Who could forget the ENT episode "Twilight" when non-Trekkie concerns were addressed by having the NX-01 take a direct hit straight to her bridge?  I think the designers did not want to completely do away with an exposed bridge because it is such a traditional element of Starfleet ship designs and because it makes it obvious even to the casual filmgoer where the bridge is, but they also wanted to put the bridge into a more protected location while still keeping it easily visible.  They perhaps also may have believed that the hole in the center of the saucer may allow some weapons fire to just pass right through and not damage any portions of the hull, although whether or not this is truly a benefit can be argued.  But to better protect the bridge, they made it "lower" on the hull and then to keep the bridge visible, they created a cutout, resulting in a "doughnut saucer" layout.

10. She has 3 sets of shuttle/hangar bays arranged above and to the sides of her engineering section.

This in particular needs explanation.  You see, before the armored belt became lighter and more practical, we had Protected Cruisers in the world's navies that protected their vital internal machinery by putting bunkers for the storage of coal fuel on the sides of the ship and concealing the machinery inside the coal bunkers.  After the invention of the practical military torpedo and especially after the development of the Submarine as a weapon of war, surface warships began to be fitted with "Torpedo Blisters," bulges along the sides of their hulls that were partially flooded and partially hollow and air-filled.  These spaces all served the same function: they were mostly empty space and/or shock-absorbing materials and therefore could absorb the impact and energy of an incoming explosive projectile weapon, preventing the weapon from penetrating deeper into the hull and damaging vital engine components or killing crew members.  

The Vengeance seems to have three hangar/shuttle bays.  Her primary shuttlebay isn't in her fantail the way Enterprise and Kelvin had theirs.  Instead, it is located in a long rectangular bulge above the fantail and right in between the two warp nacelles (it's clearly visible on the recently released pictures of the large QMX Studio Model of this ship).  Her other two are in the angled "blisters" or "flanges" that form the sides of her hull.  These are the parts of the ship that are lined with airlocks such as the airlock that Kirk and Khan space-jumped into during the events of "Into Darkness."  If you look on the QMX model, you will see details that may appear to be hatches on the back of each of these "side flanges."  So think about it for a minute.  Why would you have three long rows of shuttlebays on the top and sides of the engineering hull?  You'd do that so that you can take all of the ship's vital automation computer hardware and engineering components and shove them deep down inside the central core of the ship's main body, and keep the shuttlebays outside to absorb the impact of torpedo hits and make the ship more survivable, especially since the Narada was *ONLY* known to use projectile weapons in the form of cluster torpedoes.  The Vengeance's shuttlebays are the 23rd century version of the Torpedo Blister.  I have even taken to using the term on occasion.

This was actually demonstrated in the movie - the Photon Torpedo explosions inside her side hangar bays blew the hangars apart, but did not seem to really blast the rest of the Vengeance apart, and those explosions even occurred *INSIDE* the ship without the added resistance of having the Torpedo have to strike the ship's shields and armor.  Vengeance's design makes sense if you realize that she is built for maximum protection.  She wasn't meant to look pretty.  She wasn't meant to have any space for scientific, diplomatic or medical missions.  She was meant to do two things and do them well: destroy and survive.  She is a battleship, plain and simple, designed the way any nation about to go to war would design a pure warship.  The Enterprise is *NOT* a purebred warship.  She is more like a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, intended to be a "jack of all trades."  She is the public face of the Federation for first contact, diplomatic and morale-boosting missions.  She needs space for a good sickbay, laboratories and VIP quarters.  She needs to be bright, optimistic and beautiful - she is as much a symbol of everything good the Federation has to offer as a practical military vessel.  

The Vengeance doesn't have any such obligations.  She's a behemoth, a twisted monster - her practical design and even her name (taken from a number of terrestrial naval vessels that have been called Vengeance) are terrible symbols.  Just look at her class name: Dreadnought.  What's a Dreadnought, anyway?  A Dreadnought was a type of WW1/WW2 battleship named for the H.M.S. Dreadnought, launched in 1906 and built under the guidance of First Sea Lord Sir Jackie Fisher by the British navy.  She was the first "all big gun battleship" to make all of her primary weapons of the same large caliber type of gun instead of having a mixed-battery of big and medium-sized guns, making her far more powerful at much longer ranges and thereby making every other battleship existing in the world at the time obsolete in one blow.  The Germans, French, Russians, Japanese, Italians and Americans panicked and all of those countries raced to create their own battleships of this type after H.M.S. Dreadnought sailed for the first time, and the Dreadnought's name became the name of the entire type as a massive naval arms race began to take over the globe.

So the Vengeance is a starship gone wrong, an abomination, a twisted representation of everything that Admiral Marcus tried to get Starfleet to become because he, his mentor Robert April (check the "Countdown to Darkness" and "After Darkness" comics) and his Section 31 cronies wanted war with the Klingons and Federation supremacy at any cost.  And with that, we come around to what is perhaps the *single most important* thing you said in your entire post: you weren't *supposed* to like this ship.  You were supposed to hate and fear this ship.  This ship is "wrong," and in fact, was designed to look "wrong" because the entire point of the whole bloody movie was that Starfleet shouldn't be doing this - they are explorers, not warmongers.  She's just "wrong" in a way that makes sense from a realistic design standpoint - if you pay close enough attention to her internal layout, remember your Treknological history and have a good eye for the historical trends in battleship design, which I do.  Once you understand the Vengeance's design, the ship makes more sense and becomes less offensive in an emotional way, even fascinating.  I'm certainly fascinated by her.

But do most of these "butt hurt" naysayers have this kind of qualification?  I don't think they do.  It took me many years of reading and research to acquire the kind of information I just gave you up there, information that is very important to understanding why the Vengeance was designed the way she did and what kind of precedents went into the way she looks.  They just sit there, safe from retaliation behind their monitors, spouting off like they're sages, guardians of "Real Trek."  And frankly, I'm tired of it.  If you don't want to talk intelligently, if you just want to claim that Abrams is "full of crap," you have no place on my page and I want nothing to do with you.

Oh, and yes, the Vengeance does indeed sound like a rickety old WW1 biplane at Warp.  Very intimidating, and very different.  As for her name?  Well, the Vengeance was designed, stolen, and crashed by Khan Noonien Singh, and "The Wrath of Khan" was originally going to be called "The Vengeance of Khan."  That couldn't be just a coincidence, now, could it...? ^_^
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:iconironspider029:
ironspider029 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Sir, I think you are my favorite Trekkie in the world. Your Treknology explanations are quite good, and appeal to the Treknologist in me.

I, too, find a certain beauty in the ferocity of the Vengeance and it fascinates me. It's too bad there is so little source material, even with Into Darkness out on Bluray/DVD. I've pored over the details of the JJ alternate reality so that I can be as accurate as possible in my upcoming sci-fi crossover comic, and you have provided me with very valuable additional knowledge.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
Thanks.  I don't know if it was just coincidence that so much of the Vengeance's seemingly atypical design could be explained if you know enough about how real-life terrestrial battleships of the "armored cruiser" and "dreadnought" eras were built - J.J. himself merely thought of a "giant black version of Enterprise with the aesthetics of a stealth fighter" - but I was very glad that it worked out this way.  Of course, the Vengeance's finalized design is still far more "conservative" than the way the original concept art looked, and I'm quite glad for that.  I suppose I should be grateful that I'm such a Navy geek, because I could recognize those elements straight away and see how the Vengeance was much, much better designed that anyone gives her credit for.

I'm certainly glad that I could be of help to you.  You are right; the Alternate Reality staff seem to be putting more effort into making the character plot arcs clear instead of revealing all the available facts about the Treknology involved, and they've been woefully inconsistent at times.  The Vengeance is the Yamato or Bismarck of the "Star Trek" world, and I've had a mad obsession with understanding her design ever since I first realized she was a separate ship in the trailers.  
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:iconthraxllisylia:
thraxllisylia Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
that is one heck of an answer thank you for sharing the information. Yes I thought Kirk, Scotty and Khan were passing through some sever network, great interpretation and by golly it seems amazing I never recognized that Scotty had rigged the ol Refit for automation is the equivalant of what the Vengeance achieved.

good to have that form of comparison.

Interesting read on warp space,  I remember "Divergence" now that you speak of it, some of the techno-babble never really registered with me ;). something to appreciate in my older years.

as someone who is not as deeply entwined in the science behind trek I had assumed that Marcus (with Khan) had somehow mastered "Transwarp Drive" something of a side effect achieved after stealing Scotty's "Transwarp Beam" device and of course analyzing it's properties etc.

and it really dawned on me how much of an inadvertent influence Spock Prime has had in this new timeline, bringing Scotty's concept forward by 20 years ;).

cheers very much for the details, great to see the passion. :D
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013
Well, there you go.  That is how things work with the Vengeance.  And as they said in the old "G.I. JOE" series, "now you know, and knowing is half the battle."  Unfortunately, most of the other people in this fanbase have their passions oriented the wrong way, hence the "butt hurt."

The "Transwarp" in Transwarp Beaming seems more of an inaccurate nickname than anything else and doesn't have anything to do with the Transwarp Drive used by the Excelsior.  There are only 2 known forms of Transwarp that worked: the Borg conduits (which need special equipment and is technology beyond Federation capability) and Arturis' Quantum Slipstream drive (which also needed special equipment and was originally alien technology).  If either one of those appears in a J.J. film, even I will cry foul - and it takes a lot (like the Great Enterprise Size Controversy) to get me to cry foul.

And as for Spock Prime's influence, what do you think Prime!Scotty did when he went back to the 1980's and gave that 20th century guy the formula to create transparent aluminum, eh? =P
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:icons1cohen:
s1cohen Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013
It's hard to tell its size. It seemed to me that when it crashed into the bay it was roughly the size of a Galaxy-class ship.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013
Yes, indeed, and that seems to support the blown-up size (longer than a Sovereign) that I calculated based on the Enterprise having been blown up to at least 725.35 meters. The Enterprise being that large is also supported by the underwater scenes, as the ship seems much bigger compared to Kirk and McCoy than comparison scales of the TOS Enterprise make that ship seem compared to the average human...
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:iconsubarubrz:
SubaruBRZ Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013
The Vengeance is 732 meters. If you watch Into Darkness again several scenes prove the Enterprise is not 725 meters long. Kirk and McCoy swimming to the hatch on the bottom of the ship is one scene, the aliens getting a view of the deflector dish is another scene. I think we can forget about Abrams' staff ever releasing any solid technical data on anything in the AR, they have shown no interest in proving anything technical about the alternate universe. I've totally shunned the shuttlebay scene from the 2009 movie, it's full of crap. This new Enterprise is also as primitive as it gets, and so is the technology from this universe. Only two settings for the phasers and no bulkhead breach sealing forcefields? BS. They also have no forcefields for the brig either. I also hate the new Kirk, he has no strategy, no backbone, no common sense, no class and he seems like a wannabe tough guy. Instead of finding a nebula like environment thus equaling the odds of success while duking it out with the Vengeance, they just fly towards Earth like oblivious morons and get nearly torn apart. The movies do provide entertainment but that's all they provide.
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:iconcalamitysi:
calamitySi Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
Hi all, another British Trek- Whovian here! Just wanted to say it was great reading this article and all the comments as I'm currently building a BIG bad Federation Dreadnought of my own called the USS Invictus, which is directly inspired by the Vengeance. The comments about ' landmarks' were of particular interest as I'm looking for details to add to give it scale. I'm still building it at the moment but the model can be found here: [link]

I'm taking a slightly more traditional approach by giving this dreadnought the nacelles but the saucer cut-out actually opens out to space. I'll keep working on it and do some nice renders once she's complete.
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
I see someone is familiar with the old Franz Joseph technical manual! You weren't kidding when you said you were making your model a more traditional approach. You've got the saucer, drive, two nacelles and a 3rd nacelle coming out of the saucer like the old Federation-class; it doesn't get more "traditional" than that.

As for your saucer cut-out opening to space... it may intrigue you to see this, then. This was the very first concept artwork done for what became the U.S.S. Vengeance.

[link]

As you can see, in that planning stage she looked very different from what we finally got. The finalized Vengeance was actually more traditional than the first concept, and I must confess I find that a relief as the initial concept for the Vengeance was ruddy hideous.

(She was never meant to be a pretty ship anyway, but the finalized design actually had pretty cool look to her, while all I can think of when looking at the first concept was how lucky we were that this didn't make it to the big screen.)

I was thinking of playing with Vengeance's design as well, but haven't gotten any time away from medical school and clinical rotations to do any drawing. I have also been waiting for more concept artwork and a better understanding of her technology - for example, we still don't know where her "hangars" actually open out to or where her shuttlebay doors are, and we only found out what those "giant anime rail guns of death" actually were: super-sized versions of the torpedo turrets that ships like the Kelvin had, packed with "clip"-like magazines of pre-loaded Photon Torpedoes - it took the novel coming out to confirm this.

And we had to extrapolate from the old Prime Reality "Mr. Scott's
Guide to the Enterprise" to figure out that Vengeance having "Mark IV Capabilities" is the equivalent of the Prime Reality Enterprise's TMP Refit giving the ship an "advanced 4th generation warp drive" and that the Vengeance being "three times as fast" as the Enterprise (which is rated at Warp 8 during the TOS time frame in both the Prime and Alternate Realities) means she can go as high as Warp 12 on the old scale. (The novel seems to imply that she can only hold Warp 12 for a short burst, allowing her to catch up with fleeing targets, merge her warp bubble with theirs, and therefore fire on enemy ships while at warp as we saw in the movie.)

We may have to wait until the Blu-Ray comes out and hope it has a "Starships" featurette like the one for ST:09 did before we finally get more details on this ship. One of the problems with the guys running the rebooted franchise is that they are not as meticulous with their world-building as the TOS team was - Matt Jefferies had the entire Enterprise basically planned before they made the show. We knew exactly how long she was, we knew what was on every deck, we even knew what every button on every bridge station was supposed to do, which made it easy to for fans to design ships because they knew how the technology works and how much leeway they had to tinker with it.

Unfortunately, with the reboot franchise, it feels like we still don't even have a really good size for the new Enterprise nailed down yet, as you can tell from all the different sets of guesses for the size of the Vengeance that I put up in this article. She could be anywhere from slightly longer than a Sovereign Class starship to nearly as large as an Imperator-Class Imperial Star Destroyer depending on which of the published sizes for the new Enterprise you accept (we have heard everything from 302 meters, 366 meters, 600 meters, 725.35 meters and 760 meters to even 900 meters at most.)

As a Treknologist, that kind of creative irresponsibility is like a cardinal sin to me when you are trying to tell a story that is based on internally consistent world-building. Evidently, Orci and Kurtzman don't see it that way, nor do they seem to care. =P
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:iconcaptainpenguin:
CaptainPenguin Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
the vengeance is impossibly gorgeous if they didnt want her to be so. i have her as my desktop background right now. but why keep the bridge in the center of the saucer if you cut out that section? the only purpose i can see for a cut-out is to put it to work. maybe in combat targeting systems or gunners would outline the vessel, aim for the center and shoot at nothing. and in other places, you could dock ships or suspend salvage in the middle, giving it shelter with the hull and shields
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
She was never meant to look pretty - Enterprise was the one that was meant to look pretty as she's the "heroine ship" and she is also meant to be the "public face of Starfleet." Vengeance's design was meant to follow some traditional Federation design principles - but she was also officially non-existent and designed completely for practical and military purposes, so they didn't care what she looked like - they cared about what she did. She wasn't designed to seek out strange new worlds. She was designed to blast them to pieces with Phasers and long-range Torpedoes.

We haven't seen enough about the Vengeance to know if there really are docking ports, tractor beams, additional weapons, sensors or targeting systems in the middle of that cutout. The only really practical reasons to give such a wide cutout instead of just having a completely sunken bridge (just a porthole) or an internal bridge (which is what we Trekkies have complained about for a while) - from a behind-the-scenes standpoint - are 1.) somebody's been playing too much STO (the "doughnut saucer" is infamous because it's used a lot in STO) and 2.) they were trying to convey the idea of a sunken bridge protected by plates while still keeping the bridge plainly visible.

The reason they had that bridge cutout was as a response to the idea that an exposed "conning tower" was too visible and too vulnerable. I understand that if you still had a bridge viewport and completely sunk the bridge down, then it defeats the viewport's entire purpose because all the port would see when not being used as a holo-viewscreen is a big bulkhead. That's why I actually suspect that from a design standpoint, the bridge is likely protected by that fairing in front, but peeks out just so slightly *above* it so the viewport can still be used.

When the ship crashes and Khan/Harrison is sliding down the wrecked bridge, he jumps straight down and then ends up sliding down the front of the saucer. That suggests the bridge viewport is actually just above the fairing that juts up from the front of the saucer to protect it. If it wasn't, then if Khan had jumped more-or-less straight down, he'd have landed right smack on the bulkhead and then had to scramble across it to continue sliding down the saucer section.
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:iconcaptainpenguin:
CaptainPenguin Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
what do you think about the Enterprise J?
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:iconcaptainpenguin:
CaptainPenguin Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
ive read these things too and wanted to see what someone else saw. but that ship was supposed to be born of principals we havent imagined yet, so would an engineer from now see more from it than a not engineer? thats what i was looking for.
and also, did you know about netflix campaigning to revive ENT? [link]
how about that? some say this is a bad move
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
First off, it's "principles." Homonyms are tricky little things, aren't they?

I know about the Netflix campaign to revive ENT and I am actually all for it. I do have a soft spot for ENT, even though the producers made some terrible decisions, believing that 1.) they had more leeway with the timeline than they really did (we may not have seen the 2150s before ENT, but we roughly knew what was supposed to happen and they did not respect this), 2.) they did many things they should never have done and didn't do enough of the things they should have done (the Temporal Cold War and Xindi storylines were COMPLETELY unnecessary), and 3.) they were too afraid of being "different" when being different was what ENT was all about (they made the technology too powerful for its time because they were afraid that having tech that was too weak would suddenly make the show not feel like "Trek" anymore, when ironically, extremely weak tech was correct for the 2150s).

But Manny Coto came along and started to fix all that. Season 4 was really good. ENT finally became a good TOS prequel and started to slowly lead into the Romulan War. Then they cut it off and I was always infuriated with them for it - now all we have are the relaunch novels.

As for principles? Maybe it's based on technology we have never seen yet, but when TOS was being created, Matt Jefferies was keen on insisting that all of the technology that went into "Star Trek" - especially the architecture of Federation starships - needed to be idiot proof. It needed to be understandable at a glance. That's how you build realism and that's how you gain the audience's trust.

1.) The saucer just happened to be a practical shape for a living environment that was also fairly pressure resistant.

2.) Putting the engineering components in the drive section concentrated them into one location keeping them away from the crew.

3.) Jefferies knew the warp engines would be insanely powerful and speculated they were awfully dangerous. That's why they are on pylons away from the ship.

4.) The tube shape of the nacelles automatically makes you think "engine," no exhaust conveys the notion of "super tech" and the pylons add an obvious weakness to the design (every ship has weaknesses).

5.) Putting the bridge at the top of the ship made it obvious to even the slowest viewer that this was where the command center was. It also evokes the idea of a "conning tower" - an idea that ST:09 took even further when it made the viewscreen a porthole as real warships do have large window galleries on their bridges.

6.) Putting the shuttlebay in the back with big clamshell doors also made the hangar obvious and puts it in a protected location, kind of like how a USMC Amphibious Assault Ship has a loading deck on the bottom rear.

I'm not a professional engineer and even I can see - and clearly understand - enough of these principles that I can create plausible starship designs as a hobby, with abilities, strengths, weaknesses and calculated dimensions that make sense and are explainable. So I don't necessarily think an engineer would see too much more from it than a non-engineer, although a physicist or engineer would definitely be able to judge the plausibility of the design from a Physics standpoint.

And there has been one scientist on record in a "Trek" documentary that said he was amazed that when he looks at Enterprise at a scientist, what jumps out most at him is the fact that nothing about her design is wrong, or is so implausible that he would have to say that "you can't do that." The design *works.* And that's no surprise, because the Jefferies did his homework and consulted with scientists and engineers - and he himself was also a pilot - before designing the ship.

Hope that answers your question.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
Well, she's obviously even bigger than the Vengeance. She's a Universe-class vessel (according to John Eaves, I think) so large that intraship transport is not only allowed but is necessary for crewmen to traverse the ship, she can leave the galaxy regularly, she's multi-generational, she even has universities on board.

She's at least two miles long, if I remember my facts right. But she's a 26th century ship, so it makes more sense for her to be that big. So that isn't as hard to digest as the Vengeance was. (And we don't even know for sure if that timeline still exists or was excised due to the events of ENT Season 3, so your mileage may vary there, too.)

Does that answer your question?
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:iconcaptainpenguin:
CaptainPenguin Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
have you seen my reply from 5 days ago? /\ i thought i replied it to your comment but it says it went to mine.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
I didn't at first, but I looked through the note and saw it again. To be completely honest, I don't always have the time to reply to everything that's posted. I'm not sure if I told you this, but I'm a medical student currently juggling 8AM-5PM rotations, clinical research and online homework. So while I appreciate your interest and wish for intelligent discussion, my time is extremely limited right now. That note had been posted long before rotations began, when I had a lot more time on my hands. Please try to understand.
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:iconcaptainpenguin:
CaptainPenguin Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
i was just saying i thought it was your comment that i sent to, good luck with your work. i think even with the holes that the new movies have, the Star Trek AR could make a series with its own identity. if im not mistaken this crew is younger than TOS crew. i would think we can use this, say the philosophy that is guiding their this crew's lives isnt as mature at TOS. instead of a journey about self discoery like in TOS it would be about self development.
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:iconblackheart-kiryu:
BlackHeart-Kiryu Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Spoiler Alert in case noone has seen the movie yet.

There is something....in the new movie you see a shuttle go into USS Enterprise's shuttle bay the shuttle can't be more than 5 meters long the Enterprise doesn't look that big in comparison. I think USS Enterprise in Alternate reality is exactly the same size as the orignal USS Enterprise, Kahn says USS Vengence is twice the size and three times as fast meaning USS Vengence is basicly the size of a Galaxy class.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
She was supposed to be roughly that big, maybe a little bigger. All of her "landmarks" - the external torpedo launcher, the deck "strips" on her saucer, the bridge dome, the shuttle bay doors etc. - are meant to be that size. The giant problem is that a ship the size of a TOS Constitution (289 meters) or Constitution Refit (302 meters) can't fit 20 shuttlecraft with each shuttle being as big as a Greyhound bus capable of carrying 40 passengers plus cargo into her shuttle bay.

The original TOS Enterprise's shuttlebay is about this big on a 289-meter ship:

[link]

And those 2 shuttles that barely squeezed in there were Type-F's. Type-F shuttles could only carry 7 passengers and were about the size of a minivan. They could fit cargo, but only because they didn't have seats on both sides of the shuttle.

On the other hand, here's a good shot of the Alternate Reality Enterprise shuttlebay:

[link]

Again, that's enough space for 20 shuttles plus a central space wide enough for 2 shuttles to fly in side-by-side, and each of those shuttles has enough space for dozens of passengers, plus cargo and even walking space for Barracks officers.

[link]

[link]

The problem with the shuttle bay scenes is that if you focus the camera too much on the shuttle, due to perspective, the shuttle bay itself can look smaller than it actually is.

I've been studying the design of the Prime and Alternate Reality ships and shuttles for a while, and I really wish I could agree with you, but the Alternate Reality shuttlecraft just can't be merely 5 meters long - that's about the length of a Ford Windstar minivan, and my dad used to have one of those so I'm familiar with their internal space (or lack thereof) - if they can easily fit 40+ passengers sitting in long rows plus cargo, or even be reconfigured to be a complete laboratory like Scotty's shuttle was. (The typical Greyhound bus is about 14 meters long.)

[link]

^ That big laboratory would never have fit in a TOS Type-F, a lot of the shuttles on the new Enterprise were of this type, and the ship is meant to carry at least 20. You can't shove that much stuff in a shuttle the size of a Ford Windstar.

But I will say this, though. The Alternate Reality Enterprise was *NEVER* originally meant to be as big as the Power That Be claim she is (those bogus 600-meter-plus numbers that we've been getting from various sources). She was based on the TMP Enterprise Refit and designed by Ryan Church to scale to match that ship, then bumped up a bit to make her a tad bigger, which is why her original design length wound up being 366 meters (the TMP Enterprise Refit was about 302).

The only real reason they blew up her length the way they did was because if you don't, the shuttle scene makes no sense. The shape of that ship's rear end at 302 or even 366 meters just makes it physically impossible to jam that many shuttles of that kind of size in there.

I ran numbers in my entry using a 366-meter Enterprise as well as several of the blown-up, larger sizes and if you use that sort of length as your starting point, then yes, we do arrive at the conclusion you came to where the Vengeance should be close to a Galaxy or Sovereign class in size.

And I think that until they finally flat-out throw in a line on screen about how big the Enterprise is, we might have some liberty to make our own conclusions about ship sizes since the Powers That Be evidently can't quite agree on their ship sizes either since there have been so many "official" sizes for the Enterprise thrown out there - I've heard 366 meters, 600 meters, 725.35 meters, 760 meters or even 900 meters. It's ridiculous.

As for the "3 times as fast" line, I remember that. They didn't go into more detail so I can't help but wonder exactly what they meant by that. But since Vengeance was able to catch up with Enterprise at warp and effectively merge their warp tunnels (allowing Vengeance to fire Phasers within that "tunnel" or "bubble" of normal space even though both ships were at warp), I'm guessing they mean she's faster at warp, which would also mean they're using the old warp scale which had speeds that exceeded Warp 10. That's good; it means they aren't using the TNG warp factor scale a hundred years too early.
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:iconblackheart-kiryu:
BlackHeart-Kiryu Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Yeah i believed the Enterprise was more around 300 range like the refit really when i said original i kinda ment the refit ^^'' but still the USS Enterprise in many scenes does not look like its over 500 meters like many people believe it is.

As for it's warp factor i thought the exact same but we have no idea how fast Enterprise was going in that scene she was damaged after all i doubt she exceeded warp 7.

But in TNG you can count the warp 9.99999 stuff as being 3 times as fast as calculating her actual speed not her warp factor.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
By the way, I think Vengeance suffers from the same proportional issues as the Enterprise does in terms of "architectural landmarks" being out-of-proportion at the declared sizes.

I suspect this happened because Vengeance wasn't designed according to a set numbered length but to scale up to the Enterprise's CGI model - and we know Enterprise wasn't supposed to be 600+ meters long.

[link]

Her bridge is clearly visible in this shot. It's the round lighted thing in the center of her saucer section. We can tell from comparing that bridge section, which is a single room that seems to be roughly the size of the Enterprise-A bridge (I think), to the rest of the saucer section that this ship looks like she should be about the size of the Galaxy or Sovereign classes.

She doesn't look like she should be 1,000+ meters long. If it weren't for the "official numbers" being what they are, the only way I could realistically believe the ship in that picture was 1,000+ meters long would be if the bridge section were 1/2 as big as it is in the CGI rendering.

Her windows (which you can see in the "doughnut hole" in the saucer section) are also too big. If she really were 1,000+ meters long, those windows would be gigantic compared to the average human (Enterprise suffers from the same problem with window scaling).

If the bridge of the CGI model was 1/2 the size (or diameter) that it is in the actual model and the few visible windows were made 50% smaller as well, the proportions would match a bit better for a 1,000+ meter ship, largely because Vengeance was purposely designed to *NOT* have the other "visible landmarks" that I was talking about on the Enterprise (we can't even easily see where her shuttlebay is).
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
There's a reason you feel that way: she doesn't look like she's over 500 meters long because she was originally not meant to be. Starfleet ships often have very, very definite reference points - I call them "landmarks" - that you can use to calculate their size if you look closely enough.

For example, the Vengeance's bridge looks puny from the outside compared to the rest of the ship, and this makes sense because she's supposed to be twice Enterprise's length, which would require her bridge to be a proportionally smaller part of her external superstructure even if it weren't being hidden deep in the hull (especially since she has a smaller bridge floor plan than Enterprise as well).

The Constitution Class is full of these architectural "landmarks," and I think Matt Jefferies did this intentionally when he designed the TOS Enterprise because he wanted to emphasize the realism and believability of the design; they were continued when Andrew Probert did the refit version. They include:

1. Bridge dome
2. Windows
3. External photon torpedo launcher
4. Shuttle bay doors
5. Circular docking ports (assumed to be about the height of the average human on the TMP Refit)
6. The "strips" on the sides of the saucer that imply where the decks are within the saucer

The Ryan Church ST:09 Enterprise was designed to scale with the TMP Refit by Andy Probert, and therefore all of these "landmarks" on Church's ship are proportioned to match those of the TMP Refit. This is why she does not look like a 600+ meter ship, but she looks like a 300+ meter ship. The proportions *fit* a 300+ meter ship, but break down at larger sizes.

The only "landmark" on the new Enterprise that suggests a ship in the 600+ meter range is the bridge window - and that was a "cheat" because in the TOS ship, the entire *dome* at the top of the conning tower was the bridge, not just one tiny little window.

When they blew up her size, they failed to re-proportion her - the windows should have been made smaller, the shuttlebay doors should have been redesigned, the docking hatches should have been made smaller, and they should have put more lines on the saucer between "decks," among other things. The looks of the ship's body don't make sense at 600+ meters; and then you see that ginormous shuttlebay inside those clamshell doors and there's a sort of disconnect there, like looking inside the Doctor's TARDIS ( "Time Lord technology. It's bigger on the inside!" ).

I do agree with you about the warp factor, though. I'm sure she wasn't going past Warp 7. She was rated at a maximum speed of Warp 8 according to press releases, if I remember right, but if we use the TOS scale, in the Prime Reality the TOS Enterprise generally traveled at around Warp 6 and dialog from ST:09 made it sound like even getting to Warp 4 was pretty significant.

More importantly, the Enterprise's warp core had been deliberately sabotaged on S31's orders before she left to go after Khan on Qo'nos. The core is never shown to be in truly good shape at any point in the movie, and it is still in bad shape when Kirk goes to warp to try to escape the Vengeance. I'm sure she couldn't have been doing anything better than Warp 5 or 6, maybe.

Of course, the warp charts were never truly linear, and they were skewed even further when the TNG scale was calculated in order to make Warp 10 infinitely, even meaninglessly fast, so it's like you said, by the TNG era, even going from Warp 9.99 to Warp 9.999 is a tremendous increase in speed - and distance covered - from a relativistic standpoint! =P
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BlackHeart-Kiryu Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
When you see the shuttles on the outside going in to land within Enterprise like you said they haven't proportioned her properly like i mentioned with Enterprise not looking huge compared to the Shuttle that like fits 10-20 people, when you see the shuttle going into the aft section it only looks like you could only fit 3 in there with how big engineering looks taking up the rest of the ship's primary hull.

Yush the window thing did get me alittle.

TOS Enterprise i think was only warp 8 max speed warp 10 if they did the slingshot around a star, the refit could go 9.2 max.

And yes i know timelord technology im british so i know Doctor who well lol.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Yep! That's why I made the remark - I saw on your profile that you're from Great Britain and I happen to be a Whovian as well as a Trekkie. =)

But yeah, I think the best way to put this is that your perception isn't deceiving you. She's not supposed to be as big as they say she is. They blew up her size to make a few particular scenes fit, and then jammed interiors that were too big for those particular sections of the ship *into* said sections of the ship simply because they could. >_<

Sometimes, it's easier to just suspend your disbelief. Unfortunately, I'm a more of a Treknologist than a regular Trekkie, and I find it bloody difficult to turn that "realism sensor" off.
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:iconblackheart-kiryu:
BlackHeart-Kiryu Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Don't worry i love talking bout this stuff i never really get to do it often.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Me neither. Most of the Trekkies I know only like it for the story, or just because they think it's "cool" on some superficial level, not because they like it for the world-building or the military life - which is why I'm interested in it.
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:iconsaddlepatch:
SaddlePatch Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think we can all just agree the U.S.S. Vengeance is STUNNING and I can't wait to see it on the big screen. It's a beautiful ship, no matter its size. Just that scene of it lingering over the Enterprise sends shivers down my spine. I have re-newed hope in this movie!
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April 25, 2013
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